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Barents Cooperation Forum in Helsinki offered a new way of creating partnerships and project initiatives
The Regional Council of Kainuu together with the Kainuu University of Applied Sciences organized a one-day forum with the latest information on the Barents development activities and funding opportunities within the region. The forum brought together 150 actors from a wide spectrum of companies, municipalities, universities and research institutions, ministries, non-governmental organizations and funding programmes from the Barents countries.
The morning session gave an overview on the recent developments of regional cooperation as well as financing possibilities for Barents cooperation activities. For example, the results of the latest Barents cooperation study carried out by Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (Mikko Keränen) were presented. Laura Quist from the International Barents Secretariat IBS, on the other hand, spoke about funding opportunities and presented the new section on IBS web site gathering together information on various funding sources.
After lunch the participants could choose between ten thematic workshops. The workshops focused on practical cooperation in the Barents region and offered case examples of successful projects and models of collaboration, as well as gave room for discussing new ideas for cooperation projects.
When registering for the event, the forum participants could create an online profile and book bilateral meetings with interesting actors.
Duration of each of the bilateral meetings was twenty minutes so each of the participants could attend six meetings if they wanted to.
Moreover, the Barents-specific funding programmes operated a project clinic where the participants could drop in between their bilateral meetings.
The interactive framework and the enthusiastic atmosphere indicated that the forum will create new partnerships and project ideas and will serve as a kick-start for similar events in the future. The forum was funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and was one of the key events of the Kainuu Chairmanship of the Barents Regional Council and Committee 2015-2017.
The site www.barentscooperation.org/en/Funding gives a good overview on funding opportunities on the Barents region